The Null Device

Turkmenistan

An article about Turkmenistan's President Niyazov, arguably one of the loopiest world leaders in recent times. (The only other contender I can think of, the former Latin American president who sang as "the madman who loves", pales into insignificance next to Niyazov's decidedly quirky and somewhat Jarryesque take on the traditional neo-Stalinist cult of personality.
He began by renaming the months of the year after himself, his mother, who died in an earthquake when Niyazov was eight, and a few of his favourite words (Flag Month, for example); and followed it up by decreeing that old age officially doesnt begin until 85. This was possibly in relation to both his 62nd birthday which he celebrated by dying his hair jet-black and his rampant hypochondria. On Turkmenistans website, there is more about Niyazovs recent doctors appointment than on melons and sulphur combined.

Mind you, by this account, Turkmenistan sounds like it was a rather odd sort of place even before Niyazov. (via New World Disorder)

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